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two of us are planning on a mid-october 3 to 5 day hunt ; first time ; would appreciate comments to avoid surprises ; have been talking to guides in the oak hammock refuge area. thanks, jim platt. lakeland, fl.
 

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Jim,
That area is very good especially during the period of about October 1-20th most years. It is very competitive without a guide who has pre-scouted and leased land. My advice would be to go with a guide that lives in the area or grew up there with the farmers as there are a lot of fly by night outfitters that live elsewhere and only show up near oak hammock for one month a year. These guys are the ones trying to secure permission on a day by day basis for clients. I grew up in the Interlake and have a pretty good idea about almost all the outfitters, but don't want to spam any names around. If you are looking at any specific outfitter post it up or Pm me and I will try and give you the skinny. Also look for a guide that has more than one area to go to, if it gets busy and there are no new birds, you want to be able to pick up and move 20-30 miles to get into some tamer birds.... hope this helps.

MB
 

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Oak Hammock is the "circus" for waterfowling in CA. I quit hunting there years ago because of the competition. I freelance, so with the guides tieing up more and more land, it is not worth it.

I say head west, like 400 to 800 miles west to get away from the crowds.
 
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